Self help is great in some respects and in others, it can be frustrating, confusing and jut plain wackadoodle.
It’s not that I don’t think it has merit (I am a self help author and coach after all : )
It’s that there are a few central beliefs that are thrown around in the self help world, that may trip people up.
They may actually make you wanna pull your hair out and scream profanities at the universe.
We start to hear them so much—that they are reduced to catchy new age slogans that we sort of tune out after awhile.
You learn about the “manifest your dreams” thing. You study it. You get excited about it. You read more books about it, maybe attend a workshop.
You’re hopeful. Excited even.
And then it doesn’t work.
You still don’t like your job.
You still feel disconnected.
You still don’t have six pack abs, stacks of gold or endless youth and vitality.
And you certainly don’t feel like you’re manifesting your dreams.
So you decide that—
Self help must not work. That woo-woo stuff must be a bunch of b.s.
And you scream profanities at the universe.
I get it. I’ve been there.
If you follow the self help or spiritual growth world—there’s little doubt you’ve heard the following sayings. But as with anything in life, let’s look at them with a curious, open mind and make sure they are truly of benefit to us—and not actually holding us back or a source of frustration (an energy that doesn’t help us to attract what we want)
8 self-help beliefs that may do more harm than good—
1. Everything happens for a reason—Maybe it doesn’t. Maybe some things happens, just because they do. Maybe we don’t need to try to connect ourselves to horrible things, and internalize that we deserve it, or we attracted it. Maybe some things just happen, regardless of our energy, our horoscope or how the planets are lined up. Maybe the only reason it happened is for us to learn to maintain our vibration, no matter what (very good idea indeed)
2. Ask and it is given. Maybe everything we ask for, isn’t given—in exactly the way we ask for it…. Maybe, as the Rolling Stones say—”You can’t always gets what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need.”
This, I found to be spot on. While I genuinely believed that winning millions in the lottery was not only possible, but highly probable, it still didn’t happen. But what did happen, is that I won the “life lottery” in so many more meaningful ways than just a mountain of money (but yes, the prosperity showed up too : )
3. You get what you give (or you attract everything to you based on what energy you give out in the world) Mmmmmm, as much as Abraham Hicks tries to explain why young kids get horrible diseases, and why traumatic things happen to innocent souls—I don’t buy this one all the time.
And, it’s another potential black hole for guilt. If all these bad things happen to me—then I must have deserved it, right? This one, we need to take with a grain of salt and be easy on ourselves.
Yes, I do believe we are energetic magnets. I do think there is great value in learning to master how we feel and what we think. I also believe that there are certain things that fall out of our ability to explain, or make sense of. And the best thing we can do is get back to a place of feeling good, feeling better and being playful, deliberate and light about our energy, no matter what happens.
4. Don’t do it if it doesn’t feel good. I am pretty sure cleaning toilets won’t ever feel good to me. Or paying taxes. But I do them anyway. I like not being in jail and having a clean toilet! And even beyond those trivial things—there are the larger growth phases we may go through in life, that don’t feel good. But when we move beyond our comfort zone, feel a bit of the uncomfortableness—the gifts that are on the other side are worth it.
5. Live just for the moment, just for the now. As a parent of an 18 and 20 year old, to tell them to only live for the now and today—would be leaving out a big part of it. Yes, I get the idea behind this one. Be present. Enjoy the now. But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my “now” is pretty amazing because a few years back, I planned ahead, thought about my future and set things in motion to make sure my “now” would be what I wanted it to be.
Sometimes you gotta live for tomorrow a little bit as well. It’s not just about now. It’s about setting the intention to have a succession of successful and pleasing “nows.” That requires we think ahead, plan ahead and create a vision for what we want our tomorrow to look like.
6. Never say never. I am never going to intentionally eat insects. Never. Never going to jump out of a plane. Never. I will never again spend so much of my energy on being angry or arguing over pointless things. There are things I know I will never do again. It’s ok to say never when you’re that clear. Clarity is good.
7. You create your reality. Do the babies that get hurt or have horrible illnesses create that reality? Some would say it’s the parents’ energy. Some would say that yes, that child did, on an energetic level—create whatever is in their reality. I don’t buy it. I think sometimes bad things simply happen. It’s then up to us to react, feel and think in ways that get us back on track, energetically speaking.
While I do believe this one a good portion of the time, there are certain situations that I simply can’t accept as being created by that person. God will have some explaining to do. Again, this one can make some feel like they deserve unwanted or bad things and can create unnecessary guilt and self doubt.
8. We are all mirrors or we are all one. I am not one with certain people. Just no. My energy and who I am, is not one and the same with people who do unspeakable things. Nope. If this is a universal truth, God will have to explain this one as well. Just don’t buy it and I think it turns people away from self help and personal growth.
There is good intention behind all these beliefs. And there are aspects of each, that I believe to be absolutely true.
But the main point we need to remember here is this—
Lets not be sheeple!!! (see definition)
sheeple—people compared to sheep in being docile, foolish, or easily led.
Let’s shy away from believing something simply because the latest, greatest self help author or guru wrote about it.
And better yet, let’s not be spiritual sheeple.
Let’s not believe it just because the latest, greatest self help author or guru wrote about it.
Believe it because it feels right and adds value to your life.
We gravitate towards self help to be helped.
To feel better. To manifest our dreams. To feel loved and connected.
We reach out to self help to . . . get help!
So if it isn’t helping, then move on or take a good hard look at YOU.
Maybe it isn’t the saying that doesn’t work. Maybe it’s old beliefs, ways of thinking and feeling that are tripping you up.
Maybe you do create your reality through your energy—but simply understanding what that means, isn’t enough.
It has to be lived.
And it has to be felt, known and believed in such a way that there isn’t an OUNCE OF DOUBT.
AND THAT, my dear friend—takes patience, time and commitment.
But that’s a whole other topic (and post)
Remember—it takes us decades to learn ways of reacting, feeling and thinking in the world that maybe DON’T work in our favor.
So let’s give ourselves a little break, be patient and acknowledge that it may take a bit more that a workshop, a book or one online program—to change something in our life.
Self-help and personal growth are merely tools we can use to get closer to what we want in life.
But ultimately any of those tools, beliefs and online workshops, aren’t worth a dime if your aren’t going to make a conscious choice to change the thing you want to change.
SO IT COMES DOWN TO A CHOICE.
You have to consciously CHOOSE to change.
But how cool is that?
It’s ultimately, your choice.
Your choice how your life looks + feels.
I am a recovered self-help junkie, guru-hopper and chronic newlsetter subscriber.
Hmmm . . . What the heck?
I had turned self-help, spirituality and the quest for a happy, meaningful life into a full time job.
I kept looking outside myself for the answers to the health, wealth and happiness I desired.
And in the end, I found that it took me further away from my own truth.
Can you relate?
What I didn’t realize, other than this subtle nagging sense that I was not on the right track and not getting the results I desired, was that I was using certain things as tricky forms of resistance—as a means to keep me away from my power, my strength, my voice and my art.
I reached this awareness while reading one of my favorite books, The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield. Mr. Pressfield suggests that we have these dreams, desires and artistic expressions inside us—craving to be realized and manifested—and that we hide ourselves from ourselves through various forms of resistance. We shut out the dreamer, the painter, the musician, the writer—the creative entrepreneur in us—through resistance.
Resistance in the form of:
- Wasting time on Facebook doing things that clearly have no direct impact on our art, our creativity, our heart or our truths and passions. It’s basically just a time suck, admit it.
- Staying stuck in old patterns of arguing with people (exes…I am guilty). You can be right or you can feel good. I would rather feel good. Do these arguments ever go anywhere anyway? No! They are also a time suck, and it’s resistance rearing it’s ugly head trying to hold you back from your best self.
- Doing tasks that really aren’t critical, but you put them ahead of your passions and dreams.
- Subscribing to too many online marketing systems, entrepreneurial websites and e-mails lists.
- Excuses, justifications and rationalizations. You know what you are passionate about. You know what you love, and when you create all these excuses for why you can’t or shouldn’t or don’t . . . it’s only going to show up in the form of unhappiness, boredom, restlessness and stagnation. Ditch the excuses. They are a form of resistance.
These are just a few. Resistance comes in many forms and only you can decide and see how it shows up for you. It can be food, TV, shopping, working out excessively or even house cleaning.
Resistance keeps you from becoming your own best self -help expert, spiritual advisor and guru.
You know you are relying too much on your guru, self-help library or outside influences when:
- You can’t see your nightstand anymore due to the high stacks of self-help books, CDs, tapes, Kindles, iPods and iPads.
- You keep creating goals or intention lists that are not manifesting in your life… it just isn’t happening!
- Your inbox is full of everyone else’s newsletters, but you still haven’t perfected yours.
- Your message or goal is not clear due to muddying the waters with everyone else’s ideas, opinions or systems.
- You find your significant other asking several times a month, “What’s this charge from [insert self-help company name]?”
- You need an assistant to manage your programs, classes and newsletters.
- You need a second job to pay for all the programs.
- Your spouse is lonely, and your kids haven’t had a home cooked meal in a few weeks.
Yes, some of these are serious and some are more light-hearted, but the point is—keep an eye on resistance in your life—in all the subtle and not so subtle ways it can show up.
Distractions, resistance and being disconnected are a choice. It may not be an overly conscious choice, but they are all choices, nonetheless.
If we want to get to the point where we are clearing channels to manifesting our desires, we need to take a look at how we may be sabotaging that quest through these forms of resistance.
Let me know if you relate and how resistance manifests in your life.
Merci et Bisous!
Success. It’s a choice, believe it or not.
The believing part is actually one of the biggest secrets to finding, having , keeping and enjoying success . . . more on that later.
What is success?
Is it money, fame, six pack abs, world travel, a large house, a walk in closet full of shoes (yes!) or is it the love of your life, happiness, feeling connected to your truth, being with friends and family (YES!), or peak health?
Maybe its a combination of those things for you.
To truly achieve success, you first have to define what it means for you.
Success is personal. You define it. Not society, your friends, your parents, not even wikipedia.
Success isn’t some far away, unreachable thing. It is closer than you think. It is as close, or far away as you make it.
It is a choice, as are most things in life.
You choose your thoughts and feelings about success. You choose your thoughts and feelings about anything, actually.
No one forces you to think a certain way.
The reason why many people think being successful is out of reach is primarily because of the beliefs they hold about success.
Yes, there are those that simply don’t want to do the work. But there are also those that don’t choose to do the work because they feel it will be too hard, too much struggle and discomfort.
Do you enjoy doing something when your dominant feeling about it is that it’s going to be super difficult or painful even? Not me.
What if we started to view success as a gift? What if we saw success as our personal road to evolving, stepping into our power, our dreams and our desires? Rather than the dominant viewpoint that its a massive struggle?
Change the thought, to change the thing.
We are so programmed to think it’s hard to get what we want.
How about replacing that with the thought that achieving your definition of success is possible, is within reach and isn’t a brutal experience of difficulty, struggle and pain?
I was talking to a good friend about this recently and they said “It’s hard to be successful, that’s why there isn’t lot of competition, its just too hard for most people.”
I get that, but in all honesty, is the alternative any easier?
Is the alternative of just giving up on what you want easy? Is it easy to settle? Is it easy to try to convince yourself you are happy when you really aren’t? Is it easy to struggle to pay bills? is it easy to have broken relationships? A broken heart?
How about starting to believe that it might just be possible to be successful, on your terms. Or, replace the word “success’ with any word—health, wealth, happiness, consciousness, or connection to truth.
It really comes down to a choice of what you think and feel. Choose successful thoughts to get a successful life.
Leave a comment and let me know what the one thing is that you want to change, or shift in order to feel more successful in your life! I want to know.
Action steps—write these down, journal about it. Get it on paper!!
- What is your definition of success?
- What is the one biggest thing you want to work on, right now, that would make you feel more successful?
- What is one thing you can do in the next week to get that ball rolling?
The believing part. To have anything, we first have to believe it is possible. If you want success, it starts with seeing it, believing it, knowing that you can have it, and being unwavering in that.
Commit to 15 minutes a day, at least 3 days a week, to meditating (or sitting quietly, if the idea of meditation makes you squirm) and focus on just being still, seeing this one thing you are wanting to shift, that will make you feel more successful, as already existing. See yourself as already having this thing that makes you feel successful. See it. Feel it. Know it.
You got this.
Choose you. What’s the first thing you think when you read this?
That’s selfish. I already do choose me. I am not even sure what she’s talking about. I don’t have time. I don’t need to. That’s rubbish!
Any of those ring true for you?
I thought I was choosing me, but when I really took a good look at it, I actually put everyone else before me. I would drop anything in a heartbeat for those I loved. I would put things that were my passions and soul callings to the side to help others. I was brilliant at self-sacrifice.
I thought it was selfish and uncaring it I didn’t.
I mean, they need me. They need you too, right? I mean the dishes have to get done, the kids need driving, and the partner needs help. You have to help them. It’s your job.
Or, is it?
Let’s get really real here. Do you really need to drop everything for everyone else? How about putting what matters to you in the lead, at times? I am not suggesting dropping your responsibilities. I am just urging you to realize this is your life and you only have a certain number of days here. So . . .
Let’s make it matter.
Leave your mark. Sing. Be happy. Go skinny-dipping. Play with your kids. Write that book. Paint that painting. Play your piano. Hug more. Eat the cake—guilt free.
You can, CHOOSE YOU, and still be there for others, live your truth and be fulfilled. Be carefree and easy about it.